The Jamaica Scorpions had two of the top three leading run scorers in the 2022 CG Insurance Super50 competition that ended on Saturday night with the Jamaican franchise defeated the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force by three wickets in a tense encounter at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

Captain Rovman Powell ended the tournament with the highest aggregate of 346 runs, just four more than Red Force captain Nicholas Pooran (342) and nine more than his teammate Brandon King (337). But it was success of his bowlers that led the Scorpions to their first regional 50-over title since 2012 when Tamar Lambert led Jamaica to victory.

Four Jamaican Scorpion bowlers are among the top 10 wicket takers in the tournament – Odean Smith and Nicholson Gordon each took 15 wickets and shared the prize of leading wicket taker with Red Force and former West Indies paceman Shannon Gabriel. Not far behind were spinner Dennis Bulli with 14 wickets and Jeavor Royal with 12.

Asked about the impact of Smith and Gordon, Powell said the two pace bowlers were key to the team’s success this season.

 “They were very, very important in the sense that every time I gave them the ball they delivered right throughout the tournament,” he said.

“As a captain, it is very good when you find bowlers that give you wickets in crucial times of the game and both of them have been fantastic throughout the entire tournament. Not the most fast-bowling friendly wickets to be honest but they have been very good.”

Smith took his 15 wickets at an average of 19.26 and economy of 5.25 wicket while Gordon was slightly more expensive at 21.26 and economy of 5.94.

Bulli snared wickets at an average of 18.64 and economy of 4.75 while Royal took his 12 wickets at an average of 21.91 and economy of 3.92.

Meanwhile, the team has been praised by the Jamaica Cricket Association on its triumphant season.

The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) congratulates our national senior men’s team “The Jamaica Scorpions” on winning the regional CG United Super 50 Championship. This achievement is the end product of teamwork, intense preparation and exemplary leadership,” said President Billy Heaven in a statement released on Sunday.

“Under the astute leadership of Captain Rovman Powell and guidance of Head Coach Andrew Richardson and Assistant Coach Nikita Miller, the world witnessed the Jamaica Scorpions win five games back to back. The collective performance of the entire team has made Jamaica proud.”

According to Heaven, strategic planning by the JCA that places emphasis on a player centric approach built an ‘exceptional team’ that claimed the trophy in a year when Jamaica celebrates its 60th year of independence.

“Cricket is known as the Gentleman’s Sport and on November 19, 2022, as the world celebrated International Men’s Day, Jamaica Scorpions provided the perfect celebration of the day winning the CG United Super 50 Championship in fine cricketing style,” Heaven said.

“This year Jamaica celebrates its 60th year of independence and cricket has always been a rich part of our history and legacy. The JCA is therefore extremely proud that our senior men’s team provided this gift to a proud nation on its diamond jubilee. Gentlemen we raise our bats to you.”

 

 

Windward Islands Volcanoes coach and former regional fast bowler, Andrew Richardson, insists the West Indies must close the distance between themselves and top-class cricketing nations, in terms of talent development, if the team is ever to be truly competitive again.

World cricket powerhouses India recently earned plenty of plaudits for a stunning win over Australia, with a squad full of mostly inexperienced developing players. 

The West Indies on the other hand, once the world’s best cricket team, have suffered lopsided defeats at the hands of England, New Zealand, and most recently Bangladesh.  The defeats have led to renewed criticism of the regional team in some quarters, but Ricardson insists the world’s top team are simply reaping the fruit of their labour, which took the form of talent development.

“It’s a correlation that the boards that have the luxury of having more coaches employed, more facilities, more players on contracts, more A team tours, more money invested in development, are the countries that have been doing well,” Richardson told Grenada’s Talksports program.

“Case in point, India has an academy just for fast bowling,” he added.

“In the 80s, not to knock anything from the Lloyd and Viv Richards era, we had awesome talent.  During that time, if you check the history, most teams were setting up their academies to improve their game.  We didn’t set up our academy until around 2000.  So, they have been reaping the success of what they have put in.”

Richardson insisted that the region still has the talent and pointed to the team’s performances in the youth competitions to stress the point.  The West Indies won the U-19 World Cup in 2016  and were runners up in 2004.

 

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